Saturday, 30 July 2011

Crazy for this!

We went en masse last night (sixteen of us!) to the fabulous Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, to see their new production of George Gershwin's Crazy For You. What a fantastic show!

From beginning to end, this musical contains some of the most familiar and best-loved songs of all time! Embraceable You, They Can't Take That Away from Me, But Not for Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It, I Got Rhythm, Bidin' My Time, and my favourite Someone To Watch Over Me are all here, and superbly done. As was this, I Can't Be Bothered Now, here in Broadway's version as performed at the Tony Awards a few years ago:

The story is (as is the wont of some of the most enjoyable musicals) a clichéd one - Bobby (Sean Palmer) wants to be a dancer, but his domineering mother Louise (Ab Fab's Harriet Thorpe) and bitter fiancée Irene (Kim Medcalf who used to be in Eastenders) are forcing him into a corner, working for the family banking business.

On being sent to the Wild West to oversee the sale and closure of the hick town's only theatre however, Bobby not only spots his opportunity to get into showbiz (by bringing a polished Broadway troupe out West to perform a musical and save the theatre), but also falls in love with the local girl Polly (Clare Foster).

Masquerades and mistaken identity, a comedy villain Lank (Michael McKell), comedy English tourists, dancing cowboys, feathers fouff and faff, and the presence of lascivious impresario Bela Zangler (David Burt) and his fabulous Follies Girls in the women-starved town make for an appealingly farcical backdrop for the sublime music and Stephen Mear's faultless choreography. And the costumes! Wow...

The whole cast is really superb, the interplay between them has a real chemistry, and there was not a bum note or foot put wrong in the whole thing. Some of the dance numbers were just breath-taking (we especially loved Slap That Bass). The set worked brilliantly, changing from East Coast to Midwest, from theatre backstage to bar-room with effortless ease, and of course the atmosphere of the Open Air Theatre made it even more magical...

Catch this show if you can! It is magnificent.

Open Air Theatre


  1. I swear I was reading about this on-line just a few days ago, and I immediatly thought of you! Of course it turns out you were there! Glad you had a great time.

  2. It does sound like a great show - just a shame that Grumpy is working away at the moment.


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